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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

Juan Odendaal invited to training camp in Switzerland
2015-10-19

Juan Odendaal recently in action at the UCI Paralympic World Cup
for road races in Pietermaritzburg.
Photo: Bertus Odendaal

Juan Odendaal from the University of the Free State (UFS) was invited to be part of a training camp in Switzerland, together with some of the world’s leading para-cyclists.

This first-year BA student was recently selected by the cycling body, Union Cyclist International (UCI), to attend the camp which will be held in Aigle from 2-12 November 2015.

Afterwards, Odendaal, who has been the junior South African champion in the C3 division in road races, time trials, and pursuit races, will travel to Manchester, England, where he will compete in a para-cycling event from 13-15 November 2015.

Recently, he took part in the senior division of the UCI Paralympic World Cup for road races for the first time, and has performed well. In this event, which was held in Pietermaritzburg, he competed against participants from countries including Germany, Australia, Spain, and Russia.

Odendaal on 11 September 2015 took eighth place in the road race and tenth place in the time trial. The road race takes place over 55 km and the time trial over 24 km.

Odendaal said he realised immediately that he was competing at senior level.

“There was a marked difference in the quality of the races,” he said, about the World Cup in Pietermaritzburg.

“It was much faster than I had expected. The average speed was 37,2 kilometres per hour.”

Odendaal also made his debut for South Africa in March of this year at the UCI Para-cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. At this event, he finished in fifteenth place in both the time trials and the pursuit event.

Odendaal said his main goal is the World Championships, which will take place in Montichiari, Italiy, in March 2016. He is hoping to achieve good times there in order to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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